January on -empyre- :
Nova Media Storia: Histories and Characters
With Jill Scott, Nick Montfort and Noah Wardrip-Fruin
Is new media a field? Does it have a history? What history? And, how does it matter?
The new year brings us the pleasure of hosting three lively minds from the interdisciplinary worlds of new media science, art and humanities. Noah Wardrip-Fruin (US) and Nick Montfort (US) will explore the genesis and critical issues that have lead to the publication of The New Media Reader (MIT Press 2003), a compendium of intertextually annotated readings from the last century. To the double helix of art and computation in new media, Nick and Noah hope to interweave empyrean comments in the coming month. With Noah and Nick, we are honored to share time and thoughts with a distinguished new media artist, Jill Scott, whose new book, "Coded Characters" (Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2003), explores the mediation and role of the audience, as well as the mythical representation of the human body on both stage and screen, are constantly questioned. Jill’s nomadic hegira, from the Bay Area to Australia and to Europe, bears witness to a consistent development of new media art as a series of cyberphysical metaphors–analog figures, digital beings, and mediated nomads.
Please join Jill, Nick and Noah this coming month on -empyre- soft-skinned space.
Nick Montfort writes on interactive fiction, the literary uses of artificial intelligence and machine learning, game studies, and analogies between new media, narrative and poetry. At the University of Pennsylvania, where he is a PhD candidate in computer science, Nick researches computational aspects of behavioral game theory. Recent publications include "Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction" (MIT Press, 2003), regarding such "text adventures" as Adventure and Zork from literary and computational perspectives.
Jill Scott and her oeuvre have contributed to a new concept of the human body with respect to its functionality as an interface and as a player in the rapidly developing technological spaces and in physical reality. Since 1975, her work has evolved from making surveillance-performance events, to video art, and onto new computer art and interactive cinema.
Noah Wardrip-Fruin is a new media scholar and artist. He has recently edited two books, both from MIT Press – The New Media Reader (with Nick Montfort, 2003) and First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game (with Pat Harrigan, forthcoming). As an artist his work focuses on new media text, including The Impermanence Agent (a storytelling web agent that "customizes" based on reader browsing habits) and Screen (an immersive VR text that interacts with the reader’s body). His work has been presented by the Whitney and Guggenheim museums, as well as discussed in reference books such as Information Arts (MIT Press) and Digital Art (Thames and Hudson).
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